Ralph Gean has been writing, performing and recording his own unique variety of off-beat Rock, Rockabilly and Country songs since the late 1950s. As an early ‘60s contemporary of first-wave Rock n’ Roll acts like Roy Orbison and Glenn Campbell, Gean achieved a measure of regional success in Texas, cutting several 45s and receiving vigorous support from local radio. Unfortunately, just as he was rising to what was sure to be national stardom, The Beatles stormed America, and the “British invasion” that followed all but eliminated the market for Gean’s home-grown Rock n’ Roll, causing his career to fall-apart almost overnight.
In the three topsy-turvy decades that followed his brief brush with rock-stardom, Ralph Gean experienced all of the following: he tried his hand at both college and stage-acting; moved to Utah, joined a Mormon splinter-sect and became a polygamist (living in a desert shack with multiple wives); had several children; was excommunicated from the Mormon church; held a seemingly endless series of menial jobs; got divorced; sought treatment for depression; became homeless (earning food money by playing his guitar on the street); got involved with an illegal counterfeiting ring (which was busted by the feds); fronted a number of short-lived Rock, Rockabilly and Country acts in the Utah/Wyoming area; and finally became the live-in caretaker to the millionaire heir to a mining fortune in Denver, Colorado. Throughout all of this, Gean continued to write and record his own bizarre variety of Country and Rock songs, which typically featured lyrics about murder, TV shows, weird news items and other “unusual” themes.
In the mid ‘90s Gean was “discovered” by noted countercultural figures such as Boyd Rice (NON), Eric Allen (Apples In Stereo) and Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), all of whom would become involved in his career in one way or another; this lead to a comeback for Gean and the first CD release of his music. Also during the ‘90s, Gean made the first of what would become eight trips to record at the legendary Sun Studio, where he documented even more of his idiosyncratic music. Developing a strong following among fans of Rockabilly, Rock n’ Roll and Country, as well as “Outsider” music, Gean soon began performing with a backing band, opening for the likes of The Rev. Horton Heat and ex-members of the MC5, and eventually going on to guest-front acts such as The Volts, The Mutilators and The Humpers. Now in his mid 60s, Gean still performs as a solo act throughout the Denver area, where he has a devoted local following.
Full bio and liner notes available at: www.RalphGean.com
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